About this Turkish Hazel
Corylus colurna is the largest species of hazel tree - reaching up to 35m tall – and is widely cultivated for its ornamental value in countries across Europe and North America.
Introduced to the United Kingdom in the early 16thcentury, Corylus colurna is a pyramidal deciduous tree, noted for its roughly textured, corky bark, and the beautiful long, yellow catkins it produces, which develop into clusters of fringed hazel nuts.
The yellow male catkins are produced in early spring before the leaves appear on the tree. At the same time, the small, red female flowers are just visible, from which the hazel nuts are produced. These nuts are edible, but their size - smaller than common hazel nuts - and hard shell makes them of little or no commercial value, so they are commonly left for the squirrels.
However, Corylus colurna is important in commercial hazelnut orchards, as it provides the ideal rootstock on which to graft common hazel cultivars. It is also very tolerant of difficult or unnatural growing conditions in urban areas, therefore has become a popular choice as a ‘street’ tree in civic planting schemes.
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